Katie Burnett set a new World Record for the rarely contested 50km Race Walk here in San Diego

San Diego, CA - July 15, 2019 - Katie Burnett set a new World Record for the rarely contested 50km Race Walk on the track while qualifying for the 2019 World Championships. Burnett was one of 8 entrants looking to qualify at the first ever National Invitational Race Walk, which took place Saturday night on the track at San Diego’s historic Balboa Stadium. Burnett, who owns the 50km (31.1 miles) American Record on the roads, also set four pending American records at 25km, 30km, 35km and 40km on route, finishing the 50km with an official time of 4:29:45.56. 

"Since my last World Championships in London in 2017 (where she finished 4th), the 50k distance has been a little bit of a struggle so I was really happy that things finally came together," said Burnett, who will also be representing Team USA at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru in August. "At first I was a little apprehensive about participating in the 50k on the track, which is hardly ever done, but I really liked it, knowing where you were and how much time I had to spare and it was nice to see my coach every two minutes. The music was pumping and doing it at night made the weather perfect. Overall it was a beautiful event."

The "last chance" meet was the brain child of Nick Christie and Andreas Gustafsson, providing athletes an opportunity to hit the World Championship qualifying standards before the July 28 deadline. Athletes, including Nick and Andreas, competed in both the Men's and Women's 50km and 20km. The 50km athletes completed 125 laps of the 400m track and the 20km athletes completed 50 laps. Burnett was the only entrant to hit their World Championships qualifying mark, making her standard by just 14 seconds after 4 and a half hours of racing.

“A 50km Race Walk is a distance event that's rarely done on the track, and it was certainly special to see Katie set the track World Record and punch her ticket to Doha," said Tracy Sundlun, who helped organize the event. "It was truly an amazing effort and a riveting competition to watch as these athletes challenged their bodies, their minds, and ultimately the clock."

The Women's 50km Race Walk will take place on Saturday, September 28 on the second day of the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for the 50km race walk will take place in Santee, California on January 25, 2020.

Results of the entire meet can be found here